Sunday, August 05, 2007

Safety first

I have a stack of things on my desk at work, and so I went into the office today at 10. I have a key, and alarm key fob, and a code for the alarm. But I got them in the wrong order, causing a right ruckus with freakish amounts of noise echoing throughout the neighbourhood while I waited for my friend Nick to help me sort things out on the phone with the security company.

Great way to start the day.

Got settled at my desk, and then the front door bell rang. Went down to meet the security guard, who interrogated me to verify I was legit. Passed the test, went back upstairs.

Spent the day working on laying out some strategic initiatives that I need to review with my managers later this week. It was a politically sensitive document, as they have an agenda and any recommendations I make that are not in line with that agenda will be summarily attacked and dismissed as heresy. This is how it goes with ideas in our department. If they align with the ideas of our manager they are lauded as excellent change initiatives. If not, they will be sunk by any means necessary. Personally, I would do things differently...but I'm not the manager and therefore it is their prerogative to manage this way. This is all further complicated by the fact that you cannot, under any circumstances say anything negative, anything that can be perceived as negative, or anything that could be construed as raining on all the sunshine and lollipops of our sunny-happy-perfect world. Critiquing is criminal.

Which brings me to my document. Many of my ideas are in line with the desired plan, but some are not. And there are some not-positive things that need to be addressed, as well, if we are to realise all of the efficiencies and ideals for which we are hoping. So I drafted one version that laid things out the way I wanted to, then edited it for content to bring fast wins from their agenda first, followed by more controversial ones that will be less well received. Then I reworded all of the controversial ones, using a two-stage roll out that puts off things they won't want to do (but cleverly laying the groundwork amid the things they DO want to do), and doing a "risk assessment" to highlight the things that are out of my control and will cause problems for all of this initiatives....risk assessment is being cautious, but pointing out problems is neg-a-TIVE.

All of this took me at least three hours longer than it should have, and I'm now having a friend proof the document and make suggestions on how to change anything that is still potentially buzz-harshing.


Me, I don't like playing it safe. I don't like living in a modulated, risk-free manner. So I came home to work on my paper and do some other necessary stuff, but decided instead to head to the pub and sit in the sun and drink a pint with friends.

And I didn't wear a DROP of sunscreen. I'm so close to the edge I look like I'm floating.


Bubs said...

You used the phrase "a right ruckus." You have really gone native over there, haven't you?

I feel your pain with the document you're working on, and how exhausting it is. I'm working in a fairly poisonous culture right now, and it really has a way of grinding down creative thought. Good luck.

Megan said...

Wow. You're really throwing caution to the wind, huh? Did you get a sunburn?

Melinda June said...

yup, bubs. to-mah-to, crickey, I've got them all...

Damn straight, megan. And luckily I have only a slight pinkishness of sun-kissed hasn't gone to full-blown burn yet. fingers crossed